EIC Accelerator

Who can benefit from the accelerator funding scheme?

The EIC Accelerator supports high-risk, high-potential small and medium-sized innovative enterprises willing to develop and commercialise new products, services and business models that could drive economic growth and shape new markets or disrupt existing ones in Europe and worldwide.

Highly innovative SMEs with a clear commercial ambition and a potential for high growth and internationalisation are the prime target.

EIC Accelerator aims to seed “disruptive” innovations – in virtual reality, self-driving cars, new materials and other fields that can make Europe more competitive.

Access to a wide range of other business acceleration services and facilitated access to risk —

What support is available?

  • Business innovation grants for innovation development & demonstration purposes: an amount in the indicative range of EUR 500,000 and 2,5 million (70% of total cost of the project as a general rule)
  • Equity of up to €15 million per company (€100 million total budget for equity in 2019-2020 pilot phase) – only in case the EIC is convinced that there is nobody on the market willing to fund the project (VC’s)
  • Free-of-charge business coaching (optional) in order to support and enhance the firm’s innovation capacity and help align the project to strategic business needs finance, to facilitate the commercial exploitation of the innovation

The EIC Accelerator Pilot open from 6 June 2019 provides grant-only support as well as support in the form of blended finance (combining grant and equity).

  • Grant: Early-stage innovation for development
  • Equity: Early-stage and mature innovation for scale-up

Equity investment – additional information

Passive role: The EIC takes a passive role in the daily management of the company

Exit strategy: If consent of the company is received, the European Council will actively seek private investors to buy EC shares (exit typically after 2-3 years)

Evaluation criteria?

All proposals are evaluated based on three award criteria:

  • 33% Excellence: the project has high innovation potential and is beyond the state of the art. It has a strong added-value, it is viable and better than existing solutions.
  • 33% Impact: the innovation meets a pressing need on European and global markets, it will generate revenue and create jobs and has an international dimension.
  • 33% Implementation: the work plan is efficient and coherent with a realistic time-frame.

The company has high technical and commercial competence to deliver. In case the company has requested a blended finance (combining grant and equity) it’ll be subject to an additional due diligence procedure.

Evaluation procedure?

Proposals are evaluated in two steps. In Step 1, proposals are evaluated remotely by four independent expert-evaluators with different profiles (Paper-based applications). Companies that pass the initial selection stage, will be invited to pitch their innovation projects in front of a panel of jury experts, consisting of private investors, business angels and other players in the innovation ecosystem. This Step 2 complements the existing paper-based assessment in order to take full account of the personal qualities and motivations of the applicant innovators. At this stage around 50% of the companies will get selected for funding.

The face-to-face interviews will be in English and last 30 minutes. More question time may be granted for proposals asking for blended finance.

Possible outcomes:

  • Go Decision
  • No Go Decision
  • Change into blended finance decision

Time-to-inform: 3 months from date of the application


  • Grant: 6 months from date of application
  • Equity: +6 months from date of application

Next cut-offs for accelerator blended finance and grant only 

  • 09 October 2019
  • 08 January 2020
  • 18 March 2020
  • 19 May 2020
  • 07 October 2020

Additional informationhttps://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/eic-accelerator-pilot

Application procedure tips: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/eic-accelerator-pilot

Application procedure: https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportunities/topic-details/eic-smeinst-2018-2020


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